Category Archives: Music

Lost In Pain – Lost In Pain

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To start off with, this album combines everything a classic metal fan desires. Fast riffs, melodies, dramatic solos and jackhammer-drums. It’s remarkable that this work was realised by four very young musicians.

I know, it often annoys bands to be compared to others in those music reviews, but as Lost in Pain don’t hide the fact: you can find Metallica’s influences in many dark corners of this metal performance.

The good things about this should be apparent: classic metal in a fresh robe, all combined with fast drumming (Lars Ulrich could cut a slice) and even with a homage to James Hetfield himself by inserting the typical “-ah” suffix at the end of some words. The lead voice in general is very characterising for this band, floating somewhere between old Hetfield and Tim McIlrath. Yep, that was another comparison that had to be done.

You can choose whether you like or don’t like the drift to, let’s call it a “Load/ReLoad” stage of this album. Sometimes the punk parts rein this wild horse’s power, which leads to a little down toward the middle of the debut LP. All in all, it offers a wide range of hearing experiences, between pop choruses and thrash riffs, although personally I could go without some of the more popish sections. Until the End of Time would be a good example, merging from a ballad to a brutal speed part to an epic classic double solo.

The metalcore and punk parts are important on the one hand, because Lost in Pain don’t want to be just a cover band and they indeed never risk to drift into this. On the other hand, they also slow down the suggested pace from the first track Sick and Tired, which is a brilliant opener after the melodic intro.

Of course, Lost in Pain’s debut often sounds a bit raw due to the variety described above. What counts in the end is that there are four youngsters who play music that was popular like 10 years before they were born, but they do it enthusiastically and in a fresh-faced style.

Recommendations: Sick and Tired, Until the End of Time, Lost in Pain 2
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTlRmCo__Tw]

Le Cabaret Sauvage – Qwak

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A very different sound experience reaches us from the Luxembourgish combo of Le Cabaret Sauvage.

Just like a walk through the artist’s quarter in Paris, there are lots of different alleys with many different street performers to discover. Be it Chanson, Hip-Hop, Rock, Progressive, Songwriting, Indie, Funk, Jazz, everything is bundled in this album during which you can doubtlessly enjoy your coffee while wiggling your bum on the chair. Despite the varieties, all those different artists you’re going to meet never produce complete confusion.

Every time the feeling of monotony arises, be it due to the popish and funky construction or the smooth vocals, there will always be a prog or funky rock riff, or a guitar solo. Nicely placed by changes of tempo, they enlighten the alley you are walking trough. That solos apparently indicate that this guitarist is one of those guys that give their instruments girl names and have sexual intercourse with them.

Even if the boys sometimes stray through what you may call “standard French Pop”, I always found the melodies kind of catchy. Not to forget the climaxes, which coincide with my personal taste considering progressive music. Choose your side.

The vocals give their very own charm to the whole work, although Le Cabaret Sauvage would perfectly work without any singing at all. Pulsing percussions, trumpets and a groovy bass and drum play round out a many-faceted and modern French night.

As already mentioned, this is a very alternative way of making music for a group of young artists from Luxembourg. Cheeky, fresh, advisable!

Recommendations: Mr Stress, Ce n’est que le dééébut!, Qualibri.

PS: thumbs up for the even more enterprising newer stuff I could witness during the last live performance.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcWkdEr829w]

LaFaro – Easy Meat

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LaFaro aroused my curiosity a few weeks ago, so I decided to buy their two releases blindly. Was it a good decision? Yes, Sir!

With their second album, Easy Meat, the boys from Belfast just lift off like a rusty rocket. Their sound compromises Thrash and (Post-)Hardcore elements, mixed with a pinch of Metal and Queens of the Stone Age. I somewhere read that this work was like QOTSA if Nick Oliveri did all the songs. I can’t really confirm this, although a few Queens-traces are not deniable, especially in Wingers + Chips, which sounds like a descendant from Quick and to the Pointless.

The most important thing is: LaFaro have developed their very own sound, which was essential, as I found the mixing of their debut too piercing and ordinary (damn, I’d love to hear Chopper is a Fuckin Tout in the new sound!). When Easy Meat hits your ears, it automatically feels more authentic, combining evil guitars with rusty agro-vocals with a crazy drumming that sounds like someone going postal at a junky yard. Lot’s of 90s music here too in my ears.

Boring? No, Sir!

As for the interludes (after nearly every single song), it seems that they are a matter of opinion. I think they’re quite annoying and unnecessary. Lots of energy is lost because of them. No Songs-For-The-Deaf-feeling here, if this was the intention. If you created a scrap press like Easy Meat, please mates, do not stop it when it has already started wrecking! As for the rest: we now know that the vocalist (is it even possible not to play the guitar in a rock band when your name is Jonny Black?) and the drummer are insane. Leave the metal part a bit aside and concentrate more on madness, then this could be huge!

Recommendations: Full Tilt, Wingers + Chips, Boke, OFF THE CHART

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7jYhQK7aVM]

Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites

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released: 2005

Label: Red Ink (Rough Trade)

Have you ever listened to an album that was just too much for your musical horizon? And have you ever tried to listen to it again, a few years later; just to figure out that the album is genius and awesomeness in one?

I have!

The first time I listened to Mew’s “And The Glass Handed Kite” my initial reaction was: “What the fuck is this? Transsexual art rock?”. Please bear in mind that I’m no sexual offender; but when I first heard the album back in 2005, the music I mainly listened to was music in the likes of Icelandic post rockers Sigur Rós or songwriter-folk music such as Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan or Elliott Smith. This album was just too much for me. I was not ready for it.

But praise Allah I’ve got a good memory and I gave the LP a new chance in 2012. And guess what? I’m totally addicted to this album.

The opener “Circuitry Of The Wolf” sounds like prog rock, you expect something like Rush, just to get a knock on the forehead with “Chinaberry Tree”, a dreamy shoegaze pop track that works perfectly with Jonas Bjerre’s high pitched voice. Yes, this is cotton candy dude. But you cannot eat steak all the time, your body craves sweets from time to time. This is the candy shop!

“Why are you looking grave” wakes you up from your sugar-induced slumber with it’s uptempo rhythm and genius melodies. Pop music should most definitely sound like this. Never have I been challenged with such a diversity in songwriting (except when I first listened to The Mars Volta).

And these danish virtuosos are not done yet. This “dreamy-indie-progressive-psychedelic-shoegaze-art-rock” bastard hasn’t unfolded it’s strength yet, just wait for it and expect the unexpected.

“Fox Club” is the exact interlude for the upcoming storm. A minimalistic composition with a gentle synth completing the wall of sound in combination with the reserved vocals. The drums begin. Slow, discrete, fast; FASTER! Are you ready for the best part of the album?

“Apocalypso”‘s alarming guitars remind you of J.R. Ewing but Mew are no band willing to fullfill any emo cliches! Space rock meeting progressive pop it is. The thumping bass and drums in the refrain are only beaten by Bjerre’s vocal genius; most definitely the highlight of the album. This precise refrain makes this band unique, these seconds underline the high quality of Mew’s songwriting.

In “Special” you’ll once more notice the broad sound spectrum of the album. The drums and bass have this slight disco touch and you can’t stop nodding your head and shaking your hips. What is this? Moroder-Disco? Ethereal dance rock? I don’t care; I just can’t get enough of it.

I hope I could give you an insight into this album as I’m not willing to describe any further tracks. You have to listen to it to experience it!

As you might have noticed, I’m completely in love with this masterwork and maybe “The Glass Handed Kites” will flash you as well. If not, perhaps in 7 years time, as it happened to me. Only time can tell.

Disclaimer: Youtube & labels decided to be a pain in the ass and disabled embedding for certain videos. Hail the free world wide web. Pansies…

Mew – The Zookeeper’s Boy (Video)

“You’re just like a giraffe

You have to climb to find its head

But if there’s a glitch, you’re an ostrich

You’ve got your head in the sand”

 

Arkaeon – New Level Of Inhumanity EP

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An EP of a young Luxembourgish Death Metal band fell into our lucky hands a few weeks ago. To write it short and simple: it is terrific! And that normally is a good thing for Death Metal.

The booklet already perfectly puts this experience in a nutshell: “Together we try to create our very own sound that is a mixture of technical, brutal, progressive and groovy songwriting…”

The drums are restless, brutal like a barrage, faster than machine guns and proper like a Swiss clockwork. No way of not being pushed from one battle to the next. The guitars are singing like huge birds in an ever burning sky. Technically very demanding, they also master to bid lots of melodic and progressive discoveries before switching to a pure rocking head bang part. (ok these guitar squeals seem to be one essential part of the modern metal culture but they really go on my nerves and they aren’t innovative and cool anymore -Luc-). Finally Rosh’s screams and growls were guite a surprise for me. I haven’t expected a such diversified voice at all. In Death Metal it is very often the voice which bores me to death quite fast. Listening do Arkaeon, it is quite the opposite.

To conclude one can say that the “New Level Of Inhumanity” is a quite fresh metal EP influenced by Death, modern Thrash and even some Black Metal. If you have a diversified metal taste with an affinity to progressive stuff, you should have an eye on this young band and buy there EP!

El Gore wishes you all the best!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91aCilzIN64]

Boris – Pink

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Boris have released a whole bunch of albums since 1996, and I have to admit that I don’t know that much about their other works. They are known to switch their musical style pretty often. Their repertoire reaches from psych to hard rock, from drone to sludge, from electro to pop.

There is one particular full length of the Japanese combo that is still charming me for a few years now: Pink, from 2005.

Farewell lulls you into a sense of security, being a very doomy and post rockish song. After relaxing 7 minutes and 33 seconds Pink carries you away like a thunderstorm. The sound of this album is just awful. It sounds like a garage concert with the amps turned to maximum volume. And that’s just what makes those 11 tracks so awesome.

Woman on the Screen is like a vicious dog which won’t release its prey. This one is sure to stick in one’s head. Boris is uncompromising and stereotyped to the maximum knowing that there is no other way to milk this cow.

Blackout offers us a drone-break before the rumble continues. The hard rock parts mixed with an omnipresent wall of scruffy sound runs like a pink thread through this massacre. Afterburner lets the Indians sing about the desert and freedom. My Machine takes us on a melodic journey on a river which leads to Just Abondoned My-Self, which closes the album with the last bit of energy that’s still left. The amps suffer one last time. You can listen to their final screams for over 10 minutes, if you like to.

Recommendations: Farewell, Pink, Woman on the Screen, Just Adondoned My-Self.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WkaeBZ1kGU]

Kraton – Ker

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There is one typical excuse Luxembourgish people use to explain our bad football results. This sentence always refers to the amplitude of the country. When our national team loses 5:0 against Timbuktu again, the media just as the inhabitants note that the result is not that bad if you consider that Luxembourg is such a small country. When it comes to music, it is exactly the same. A shitty record, a fucked-up live sound or the inability of playing an instrument is often referred and excused by the fact that the country is small and that it isn’t so bad for Luxembourg. Bullshit!

I doubt that Bördie and co. will save our badly crippled red lion and the Luxembourgish football nation (HAHA) but when it comes to metal music, it looks very different. Unfortunately I have to tell you that in our national metal scene quantity predominates quality. There are only a few extreme bands which are worth listening and I am not even talking about records. But since the 8th of december there is one EP which certainly raises the level again! It was that day Kraton (Guitar:Jacques Zahlen, Guitar: Jason Brink, Drums: Véronique Conrardy, Bass: Joël Reiter, Vocals: Mike “Bördi” Bertemes) released their first demo record called Ker. I won’t pussyfoot around now, Ker is (beside Midnight’s Satanic Royalty) my personal record of the year 2011!

I haven’t been to a lot of concerts recently and I only have heard some of their live stuff on the Band’s youtube channel before, but that’s why Kraton simply doumbfounded me. Ker kicked me right in the face without warning. The music is a perfect composition of groovy mid-tempi, modern black metal riffs covered in a cold and doomy atmosphere served on an traditional death metal plate. At the beginning I didn’t want to describe the music with the help of metal subgenres because Ker feels so fresh, so new and diversified that it deserves more. But you know what? I simply didn’t find the words. And if the excellent music wasn’t enough there is that voice. I personally think that Bördie has one of the most varied and interesting voices in the whole extreme metal genre. The recognition value of the death metal growls is outstanding and the black metal screams are pure evilness and kick every little grim trve black metal wannabe in his pale ass. I think I don’t have to explain that the music and the voice perfectly fit together, do I?

Ker is one fucking hell of a record! Download it at the Band’s Bandcamp or Homepage and tell El Gore what you think!

Mr. Oizo – Stade 2

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First off, if you’re into “cheap” electronic music and think David Guetta is an angel sent from heaven, you should not read any further. Just go to McDonalds and enjoy your Happy Meal as it is easily digestible. Thank you.

Quentin Dupieux a.k.a. Mr. Oizo did it again. He released another banger of a record named Stade 2. But how does it sound like? It’s system overload, busta! Stade 2 is THE soundtrack when accidentally getting the wrong hole at your girlfriend’s and, awkwardly enough, she’s enjoying it. This is no music you get to hear in your wannabe stylish lounges or clubs. The sounds are way too unconventional to fit everyone’s taste and a lot of people will not enjoy this record. These people are more used to standard 4/4 timed electronic pop with Usher whining about how sad his life would be without you (who is this you person anyway?). But really; who fucking cares? The only thing that matters is that there’s one french bastard who puts a smile on my face each time he releases a new record. It may not be as fucked up or “dancy” as Lambs Anger but I’d rather stick to Mr. Oizo craftsmanship than to Skrillex’ bullshit music. Wouldn’t you as well?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1xTQ9pHOb8]

Turbowolf – Turbowolf

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Beelzebub’s newest breeds call themselves Turbowolf. Striking riffs, powerful lyrics, wolves on fire, the turbo is loaded right from the start. The fact that sometimes you get the suspicion to have heard all this once before in the past doesn’t dampen the mood.

Young Alice Cooper welcomes you on the journey through the river Styx. Turbowolf’s debut is pure stereotyped poser-riffmaster-rock’n’roll. Take it or leave it. Their style is nevertheless pretty multifarious. It actually goes from Metallica to a metal version of The Hives, but far more trashy. Not to forget the playful use of Nintendo-like electro-sounds.

Young John Garcia meanwhile never fails to summon you successfully to bang your head. After a fast first half of the album, with songs like the heavy Ancient Snake, The Big Cut makes you realise that the intensity is unlikely to weaken.

And if it does, the storm never really is over. Young Axl Roseleads you through a slower song called Son (Sun), though “slow” is not a synonym for “weak”. The final song is nothing but the best possible way of starting a live concert in order to make everyone totally freak out. Too bad you have to wait until the end to enjoy Let’s Die, but hey, a nice thrill of anticipation is always good.

A very powerful debut of the four guys from Bristol. However, as far as I’m concerned, I would spend some time in the sound: it is ugly like hell, which is a good thing, but in general, it is bog-standard and the energy of Turbowolf deserves more!

Recommendations: Ancient Snake, The Big Cut, Let’s Die.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGcUhhTA-xM]

Tweak Bird – Tweak Bird

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As you may have noticed I’m in a mood for simple rock music these days. Well then let’s have a look at another band which doesn’t need complex arrangements or five different instruments to knock me out of my socks.

Dirty guitar, aggressive drumming, The Future’s coming, that’s how Tweak Bird’s second and self titled album welcomes you. Two very feminine voices will lead you through the coming 27 minutes and 16 seconds. Shock moment: when you google the very feminine voices you’ll find two very bearded men, one on guitar, one on drums. So again, we’re talking about a two-man-band here. And again, no lack of energy! Round Trippin’ is a 1:12 minutes shorty which may cause massive brain damage. It is followed by A Sun / Ahh Ahh , the album’s first single. This track pretty much sums up the sound of these two fellows: distorted rock’n’roll with a Red Indian touch, due to the singing, including a psychedelic and 70s touch. Did he write Red Indian? Yep! If I had to draw a picture about how this sounds, it would look like the CD’s cover.

Beyond increases the pace again and so we’re already half trough. The second half starts with two powerful but melodious tomahawks before Flyin’ High offers us the peace pipe, filled with dubious substances. The get-out dance is called Distant Airways, very dark, very dry, you’re alone in the desert again, have fun with the coyotes!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V42dOH57kGc]
Recommendations: The Future, A Sun / Ahh Ahh, Beyond.